Some thoughts on John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Over 45 years ago, my younger brother, Brad, asked me to be his best man. Like most big brothers, I had spent my teenage years tormenting him, making sure he never forgot that I was the big brother. Because of this, I was a bit surprised by his request. I couldn’t imagine why he would ask me when I had always given him such a hard time.
Interestingly, his request became a significant turning point in my spiritual life.
As the day of the wedding approached, I remembered a story about John the Baptist and Jesus. There was a time when John occupied center stage in public opinion, but once Jesus began his own ministry, John’s fame was eclipsed. This made some of John’s disciples jealous, and they complained to him about it .
In response John said, “You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ. He who has the bride is the bridegroom; the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice; therefore, this joy of mine is now full. He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:28-30)
These words, “He must increase, but I must decrease,” became my mantra as Brad’s best man. All my life I had tried to put myself center stage, but on this day I was determined I would fade into the background and work quietly so that Brad’s day would be a delight for him. As a result, Brad’s wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life. I was honored and thankful to be able to serve my brother.
The key to loving is to let other people shine. I did that at my brother’s wedding and I hope to do it in my other relationships as well. May this be our watchword: “They must increase, but I must decrease.”